Author Dan Hurley On 'The New Science of Building Brain Power'

Jul 17, 2015

This interview was first broadcast in January of 2015.

Everyone knows how to gain physical strength – go the gym, lift weights, do calisthenics, or engage in other muscle-building activities. 

But what about gaining mental acuity? Is it possible to increase intelligence, and if so, how?

Dan Hurley explores this question in his book; Smarter: The New Science of Building Brain Power.

In the book, Hurley introduces readers to the latest research in cognitive science, and takes a critical look at some of the leading companies in the fast-growing field of computer-based brain training. He also offers a research-based assessment of some of the “old school” methods of increasing brain power, from learning to play a musical instrument to meditating to learning a second language.     

Hurley met with more than 200 leading scientists and study participants from the United States and abroad to research his book, including skeptics who question whether this new science is even legitimate.

Far from a passive observer, he decided to road-test a range of brain training programs and see if they actually worked. His personal account of his experiences offer an at-times humorous take on the serious business of getting smarter.

Dan Hurley is an award-winning science journalist featured in the 2013 PBS documentary, Smarter Brains. 

His articles on intelligence have been featured in the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, and Neurology Today. His previous books include  Diabetes Rising and Natural Causes. A paperback edition of Smarter was released recently.